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Paediatricians express concerns at annual meeting

Date:17 APR 2008

Doctors attending the annual meeting of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH ) yesterday rejected a tabled a motion of no-confidence in General Medical Council (GMC).

However delegates supported an amended motion which read 'the College continues to have grave concerns over the current GMC procedures in child protection.' This amended motion was passed by the AGM, but still has to be taken to Council for a final decision.

After two high profile cases of paediatricians who appeared as expert witnesses being struck off by the GMC, the doctors are calling for better protection from vexatious complainants.

Sir Roy Meadow was struck off by the GMC in July 2005 and Professor David Southall was struck off in December last year.

Dr John Bridson of Professionals Against Child Abuse (PACA) - who tabled the original no-confidence motion - said of the two leading experts: They did not present a danger to their patients, they were simply doing their job in the way they thought best - and their treatment at the hands of the GMC means many doctors now think twice before reporting their concerns or agreeing to appear as expert witnesses.

"That is not good news for children or their families."

Dr Patricia Hamilton, President of the RCPCH said: "We look forward to continuing to work with the GMC to resolve these issues."